Storm star Papenhuyzen earns maiden State of Origin call up

By Sports Desk October 25, 2020

NRL finalists Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers dominated the State of Origin squads as the selections were confirmed on Sunday.

Ryan Papenhuyzen capped a wonderful season with a man of the match display in Sunday's final, as the Storm saw off Penrith 26-20.

The full-back is one of seven Melbourne players who will feature in the Origin match between New South Wales and Queensland, with the final additions having been revealed.

Papenhuyzen and Josh Addo-Carr will deputise in the NSW camp, while their Storm team-mates Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Brenko Lee, Christian Welch, Felise Kaufusi and Cameron Munster will link up with Queensland's squad.

Six Penrith players will also take part, with Kurt Capewell named in the Maroons squad and Stephen Crichton, Liam Martin, Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo selected for New South Wales.

Papenhuyzen may not get in ahead of James Tedesco – who was the player of the series in 2019 – for the Blues, though Storm coach Craig Bellamy is sure the youngster can have a big impact on the squad.

"[Papenhuyzen] has really matured this year, I'm sure he'd be the first one to say he's had a lot of help off Billy [Slater] and he's been very grateful for that," Bellamy said. 

"He can play a few other places and he's tough as nails and he'll give you some X-factor for a couple of other positions as well so I'm sure Freddie will be looking at him pretty hard to play on the bench."

The three-match State of Origin series will take place throughout November. The Blues are the defending champions.

Related items

  • Smith to Titans? Meninga dismisses Gold Coast speculation Smith to Titans? Meninga dismisses Gold Coast speculation

    Melbourne Storm great Cameron Smith will not play for Gold Coast Titans in the 2021 NRL season, according to Mal Meninga.

    It remains to seen what the future holds for Smith, who is yet to publicly confirm his plans after guiding the Storm to premiership last year.

    Out of contract following 18 years in Melbourne, Smith reportedly relocated to Queensland at the end of the season and the 37-year-old has been linked with the Titans as well as Brisbane Broncos.

    With speculation mounting over Smith's status, his former State of Origin and Australia head coach Meninga – now head of performance and culture with the Titans – insisted the ex-Kangaroos skipper will not be moving to Gold Coast.

    "I've not talked to Cameron. He's the hardest bloke to get hold of in the world," said Meninga.

    "I've not spoken to him – not has anyone from the club.

    "Everyone assumes he's coming to the Titans. I haven't talked to him, he's not on the radar.

    "You should ask Kevvie [Broncos head coach Kevin Walters] about Cameron so I don't have to answer these questions anymore."

    Broncos coach Walters could be an interested party were Smith to delay his retirement plans, but Meninga rubbished reports that emerged last week linking him with the Titans.

    Meninga told the Courier Mail: "I don't have any idea what Cam is doing. I don't know if he's retiring.

    "I'm in the dark like everyone else. But I know he won't be at the Titans."

  • Folau discussions have ceased, say St George Illawarra Dragons Folau discussions have ceased, say St George Illawarra Dragons

    Israel Folau is no longer wanted by St George Illawarra Dragons after the NRL club confirmed it had ceased discussions to sign the former Australia international.

    Folau, whose Rugby Australia contract was terminated in 2019 for a "high-level breach" after the 31-year-old posted hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram, plies his trade with Super League outfit Catalans Dragons.

    But St George Illawarra had been looking to lure him back to his home country, with the club having approached the NRL over the matter.

    However, a brief statement released by the club on Wednesday revealed the chase was now at an end.

    "While the Dragons did enquire about signing Folau, the club can confirm that such discussions have now ceased," it read.

    Folau's move to Catalans in January last year prompted widespread criticism, with head coach Steve McNamara confessing: "We knew it would be controversial."

     

  • Tuivasa-Sheck to switch codes in bid to make All Blacks World Cup squad Tuivasa-Sheck to switch codes in bid to make All Blacks World Cup squad

    New Zealand Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will switch codes at the end of the 2021 NRL season with the aim of playing for the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup.

    Talismanic full-back Tuivasa-Sheck, 27, has been granted an early release from his Warriors contract to try and force his way into the New Zealand squad for the 2023 showpiece in France.

    The 2018 Dally M Player of the Year and two-time Dally M Fullback of the Year expressed gratitude to the Warriors for allowing him to move to the 15-man format.

    "This will be my last year with the club and yes, I will be moving to NZ rugby next year," Tuivasa-Sheck said during a press conference on Saturday.

    "The club has been supportive in the request and giving me the option to explore.

    "Rugby [union] has been the game I've grown up playing. It's always been there in the background. It's always been there, it's no secret. 

    "To do it now in a time like this and have the club's support, that's why I chose it now. But rugby is down the line and all that stuff will happen later in the year.

    "2021 is my focus, I'm excited about this year and so should the Warriors and NRL fans be.

    "There's still a lot of goals I'm chasing [in league] and that's what I'm trying to do this year with the club. We've got a great group here and coaching staff to do something special this year."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.